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Old 12-16-2007, 06:10 AM   #1
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Florida Cruising

For those of you that are or may be cruising the Sunshine State, you need to be aware that the State has a 90 day reciprocity with other states on vessel registrations, including documented vessels. After 90 days, you are expected to be out of State waters or register your boat in Florida. The real catch, if you haven't paid sell's tax on your boat in your home state, you'll be asked to do so at registration.

There is a way however to overcome this, by use of the Sojourners Registration, allowing you to remain in State beyound the 90 day period. There has been some recent discussion on about this so I researched it more.* I've written a rather long piece on my blog, with access to the necessary forms, about how to take advantage of this simple Florida law to your advantage.*

Merry Christmas to all!


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Old 12-16-2007, 06:25 AM   #2
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Florida Cruising

This topic has been much discussed on T&T. Many are going to point out the several hundred ways to look at the issue. Please remember one thing:

Before you assert that a boat cannot be both fedrally documented and state registered remember that registration is not titling.

I am in Florida and have been through the process from A to Z. And, if you have owned your boat over 180 days you do not have to pay Florida sales tax to register it.

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Old 12-16-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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Florida Cruising

The form you reference isn't a "sojourners registration", it's just a FL registration. At least I couldn't find anything referencing "sojourner" on that form. Did I miss something? I'm federally documented, AND registered in TX. I'll just make sure I don't stay in FL more than 90 days if I'm heading that way. I'll also avoid Venice completely, due to the water Nazi there. Here's a good link about FL tax and boats:
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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RE: Florida Cruising

There is nothing new in the Florida maritime tax laws; nonetheless, the issue of "Sojourner's Permit" has come up on every website that I follow. Here is what I have recently posted elsewhere:

Firstly, I suggest calling Charles Martin at the Florida Department of Revenue: (850) 487-6757 (or a Fl. maritime attorney) for specific and accurate information or advice.

My understanding is that the Sojourner's Permit is for a boat owner, non-Florida resident, who has his boat registered in another state. That boat can then come to Florida, buy a Sojourner's Permit at DMV, and spend either 90 continuous days in the State of Florida or up to 183 days in a 12 month period. So for example, a boat that has a NY registration can come to Fl., purchase a Sojourner's Permit and stay here for 89 days and then go to Bahamas or another state, and then return for another 89 days and then can come back for an additional 5 days; or the vessel may stay for 90 continuous days but not return within the 12 month period. NOTE: this is related to the USE tax and is not at all applicable to the SALES tax on a vessel purchased in the State of Florida. The purchaser of a boat in Fl., through a licensed broker, by a non-resident, has 3 exemptions that allow the boat to remain in the state for
particular time periods, the most common being the 90 day exemption.

Judy Waldman
Yacht Broker
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:46 PM   #5
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RE: Florida Cruising

But you can do that without any special permit... Why would I want to buy a permit I don't need? Or is that permit just for boats that are only state registered and titled in another state and not federally documented?
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